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Monday, July 9, 2012

Conscious Discipline - Chapter 1 - Part 1

This chapter has sooooo much information that I decided to create 2 posts on this topic.  I am not sharing everything that is in here so you really do need to read the book to get the full benefit from it. There is simply no way I can do justice to it and so much of it is on a personal level in this chapter. It is all about you!!

Principle #1: Composure is self control in action.
The first part of this chapter hit home with me in a variety of ways. I come from a less than ideal childhood. I know that I have scars from this that still affect me to this day. I attempt to overcome them yet I did not have the tools to do so. This book provides tools for not just being a better teacher but a better person. I LOVE THIS!

The part that hit home the most for me was being a slave to our insecurities. This is huge for me. I often find myself avoiding trying something for fear of failure. I have to first convince myself of either success or that even if I do fail all will be as it should be BEFORE I begin the task. I wonder how often this is true for my students as well. 

Principle #2:  No one can make us angry without our permission. 
Your perception of an event determines your feelings about it. I have always known this is true. I am one of those people who rarely get upset but when I do its not pretty. It usually results in tears. My hubby has said something to me about this in the past that the book also reiterated. You become upset because the world didn't work as you thought it would. Oh how true that is!

The section goes on to discuss triggers and how to remain in control of your upset. How to accept that sometimes life does not go as you believe it should. Tips for removing your own triggers and handling those of your students.

Principle #3: Start the day the brain-smart way.
Now that we know what causes stress, how we respond to stress, our triggers, and ways to identify and manage those triggers... we move into the classroom with a better sense of ourselves. 

The first part of this section discusses creating a morning routine to help unite, disengage, connect, and commit yourself (and your students) to the day ahead. Several suggestions are given as well as an area to write down your own routines and to improve them. 

My Morning Routine
Meet students outside
Walk them inside silently
Students line up outside classroom
I peek in & turn on the song of the day
Stand at door
Greet children as they come in the door
Students have until end of the song to put away all their things
Problem of the day
Independent Reading

When looking at my current routine, I noticed there are some things that I can do to help my students prepare for the day ahead. I am working on this and will share it another time.  Being able to relax is a big part of this routing. STAR is designed to help students with this. Ideas for brain breaks are given... I see another project in my future! 

Available at TpT

I have always used code words with my autistic son but have never thought of using them in the classroom. When he is becoming mean and aggressive I tell him "fork." It means you are stabbing me in the back with a fork and need to check your attitude before you get into trouble. All of the boys have an emergency word that means "front and center in 10 seconds or less." This is for if there is a fire, someone broke in the house, a storm is coming, etc.. The boys know this word is spoken with urgency. They are to be complete still and quiet. We have a different word that means come here. Each one is a way for me to express something without being wordy. I love the idea of using this in class. 

There is also talk of the first part of classroom songs, relaxation exercises, brain breaks, classroom mottos, and more. What are your thoughts on the first part of this chapter? 

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At July 9, 2012 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

I have this book on my pile of summer reads; you have INSPIRED me to pick it up and start reading it. We had a trainer come in last semester and talk us through some of this stuff and she TOTALLY left us wanting more! LOVE the brain break stuff . . . pinned your mini-poster!

Off to read; thanks, Misty.

The Corner On Character

At July 9, 2012 at 9:24 AM , Blogger Owl Things First said...

I have been waiting for someone to start a study on this book! I'm so glad you did!! I've had a post ready to go for about a month, but now I have to wait for tomorrow, so I don't break any rules!! I love this book. I like using code words with my class.

Owl Things First

At July 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM , Blogger Swersty said...

I keep reading such positive things about CD. I am going to have to go get this book! Thanks for sharing...

Swersty’s Swap Shop

At July 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Dana Lester said...

What great ideas! I think I need to add this book to my list! I am your newest follower.
:) Dana
Enter my giveaway @ Fun in 1st Grade

At July 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM , Blogger Confessions of a Teaching Junkie said...

Hop on over to my blog and check out the red/black/white labels that I made for my Home Depot book bags.

Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
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